Agency VS. Freelancer: Which do you need?

AgencyvsFreelancerImage

Finding the right talent to help shape your content is a critical part of implementing your digital marketing strategy. But should you work with an agency or a freelancer?
 
It’s a tricky question, and the outcome could impact your organization’s brand and marketing capabilities. Both have their advantages and challenges. Both would like to work with you. So how do you decide? This guide will help answer that question.

Understanding The Freelancer

 
FreelancerImage
 

Hiring a freelancer means you will have one person working on all aspects of your project. Freelancers are less expensive than an agency because they work on their own and have less overhead. They are able to turn projects around rapidly, and typically specialize in a particular discipline or style. A freelancer can be a great fit if the work is clearly defined and needs to be executed quickly on a limited budget.

 

Freelancer Pros

  • Less expensive
  • Faster timelines
  • Good at their specialty

However, with a staff of one person, projects are heavily influenced by the freelancer’s preferred style and personal limitations. For example, if you hire a freelancer to create a video, they probably aren’t experts at messaging or copywriting, and their scripts and approach will reflect that. And when it comes to video they may only offer a few specific visual styles. This can lead to a one-size-fits-all approach that does not represent your brand’s voice very accurately.
 
Finally, freelancers can only handle a limited volume of work, which means they will not always be available when you need them, and without project managers they may struggle to meet deadlines and maintain quality on their own.

 

Freelancer Cons

  • Limited skills and capabilities
  • One Size Fits All approach
  • Limited capacity and reliability

Understanding The Agency

 
AgencyTeamImage
 

Partnering with an agency means you will have a multi-disciplined team paired with internal quality control taking care of your needs. Agencies have defined creative process that help them make strategic decisions based on your marketing goals and target audience. Basically they put your brand first, and apply the right solutions to get to the best end result in a predictable fashion. In addition, they are more likely to be available whenever you need them, and are capable of handling large projects.

 

Agency Pros

  • Multi-disciplined teams
  • Focused on strategy / messaging
  • A proven creative process
  • More consistent results

However, agencies present a set of challenges including: longer project timelines and increased cost. Both of these factors come from the number of people involved at each step in the process. For example, one project often includes a creative director, account manager, copywriter, illustrator, videographer, and sound designer. Timelines are longer because the project must be handed off between each of these specialists.

 

Agency Cons

  • Longer project timelines
  • More expensive

Which is Best For You?

If you are primarily budget-conscious, need a quick turnaround, and are able to provide very clear specifications, consider working with a freelancer. Reputable freelancers should be able to provide references and a portfolio of past projects. Carefully select someone whose work already reflects your desired style and voice.
 
If you are concerned about strategy, messaging, branding, and consistency, partnering with an agency is the best option. They are able to deliver consistent quality, multiple options, and results tailored to your brand and needs.

What About Commotion Engine?

Commotion Engine is boutique video agency that is quick, flexible, and brand focused. Our goal is to provide strategy, messaging, and production that fits your brand and specific requirements. We are faster and less expensive than large agencies, but offer the multi-disciplined team and reliability that freelancers often lack.

Ready to learn more?

Check out this post on targeting specific stages of the buyer journey with different types of video content: What Type of Video Do I Need?